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tv   American Politics  CSPAN  July 18, 2011 12:30am-2:00am EDT

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we do. but we do have the opportunity of being quite a safe haven for people. you can actually see our market interest rates come down because of the action the government is taking. we've got to keep that up, but recognize the euro sorting out it's own problems is in our interest. we must be helpful and constructive with the work that needs to be done. >> last week i approached regarding the fee and debt management to advise their client to takeout a remortgage for 50,000 pounds. the company paid 11,000 pounds taking the rest of his money. i have many other examples like this and self-regulation is simply not working with this industry. will the prime minister look urgently at speculation and provide the oft with the resort to take enforcement actions so that vulnerable people are not continuing to be ripped off? >> well, i know that the honorable lady has not just
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constituency, but managed the citizens advise center herself. she has huge experience of seeing people coming in with debt problems. i would say the cab is probably the finest organization in the country for helping people with debt. yes, i will certainly look at the suggestion that she makes about whether or not the sector can be better regulated, what we can do to help support citizens advise bureau at what is a difficult time and also looking at the issue of credit unions and how to lead to their expansion. >> speaker, the whole house shares the outrage expressed this week about publication of private medical information related to his son. he also said that when he was prime minister, he tried to set up a judicial inquiry to phone hacking. can my right hand friend tell me what work he inherited? >> i do have every sympathy with my predecessor, particularly over the issue of the blacking
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of the details if that's happened. in public life, we are subject to extra scrutiny. but not against the law. that is part of the problem, you hold back from daling -- dealing with it because you want media support. the one that we set up will get the job done. >> mr. speaker, the 41st international children's games will come to the county at the start of august. 112 children will participate. will the prime minister congratulate for their fore
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state and hosting the game and will he send a representative of the government to the event? >> i certainly congratulate the two local authorities. there aren't too many conservative local authorities i can congratulate in scotland. i wish everyone who is going to take part the best of luck. >> speaker, would the prime minister confirm that all witnesses to all aspects of >> the british house of commons is in summer recess. prime minister's questions returns in september. to watch events surrounding the phone hacking scandal, visit our website at on tuesday, news corp's ceo
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rupert murdoch and his son james marc are scheduled to testify before a british parliamentary committee. they will be asked about phone hacking by news of the world and other news corp. holdings. rebekah brooks is also scheduled to appear, but due to arrest earlier today, her appearance is in question. like coverage of that hearing begins tuesday at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span radio, and act our coverage continues with former british prime minister gordon browns' first major speech to the house of commons since resigning. he talks about his decision not to launch an inquiry into allegations of phone hacking by news international. it also include remarks by labor leader ed miliband.
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>> we now come to that debate in the name of the leader of the opposition. we call mr. ed miliband. the leader of the scottish national party, and the hon. member for brighton pavilion. i thank them all for joining it -- with the tabling motion before us today. i also thank the members from the conservative benches who set out their support for the motion. mr. speaker, is unusual for a motion in this house to succeed
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before the debate on it begins, but this is no ordinary motion, and this is no ordinary day. make no mistake, the decision made by news corp. was not the decision that wanted to make. it may have been announced before this debate, but it would not have happened without it. above all, this is a victory for people, the good, decent people of britain, outraged by the betrayal of trust by parts of our newspaper industry, who have spoken out up and down this country, who have contacted members across this house and told us of their concerns. the will of parliament was clear. the will of the public was clear. and now, britain's most powerful media owner has had to bend to that will. this debate is an opportunity to understand how we got here and where we go from here. i will speak briefly to allow
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others to speak in what has been curtailed debate. the terrible revelations of the last week have shaken us all. they have caused immense pain and heartache to reap families, as they learned their most private moments were stolen from them to sell newspapers. as each day has gone by, i am sure all of us will have felt the same. surely it cannot get any worse than this. but it has. the bone of milly dowler -- phone of milly dowler, the victims of 7/7, the families of our war dead, and the personal details of our former prime minister. and we are told there is worse to come.
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these revelations have uncovered a pattern of sustained criminality that is breathtaking, and the have called into question our faith in the police is caput -- capacity fully to investigate wrongdoing. the integrity of our media should be at the center of our democracy. the principles at stake go to the heart of the country we believe in. about whether we allow power to be exercised without responsibility, about whether the responsibility we need goes right to the top of our society, about the truth that no corporate interest should be able to write the law or be above the law. of course i will give way. >> does he agree with the point i put to the prime minister earlier that it would be incongruous to have terms of reference for this particular inquiry to exclude the sound and visual medium as well? we talk of the media generally, but most of the argument turns
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on the question of the word press and newspapers. should it not be extended? >> i am sure that point will be considered, but what i say to the gentleman is that the abuses that we have seen are in a part -- in our newspaper industry, and we want this inquiry to get on and actually concentrate on where there have been abuses. it will look at cross media ownership and i think is right for it to do so. this debate is also about the relationship between the private power and the power of people, given voice by this parliament. we need strong businesses in this country to show business -- to show responsibility. in these highly unusual circumstances, it was ripe for parliament to intervene. the case was clear about why the stakes were so high, about why the revelations of the recent past undermine this bid and why
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the motion was necessary. i will just deal with those points briefly. >> the gentleman talked about the recent past. as a new member, i see that this goes back to 2003. we had deeply concerning reports from the information commissioner in 2006, so why was action not taken before 2010? why was this not dealt with? >> i say to the hon. gentleman that all of our success, are shared -- all of us except our share of responsibility for not having spoken out more on this issue. the question is, what is to be done now? are going to work together to deal with these issues? let me start by talking about why the stakes in this case are so high. news corp. was bidding for 100% control of bskyb. this would have represented a major change for a public life in any circumstances, let alone
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those we now face. it would have given them unfettered control of one of the two largest broadcasters in britain as well as 40% control of the newspaper market that already own. this was not an incidental change but a major departure. the revelations of recent weeks went to the core of this bid. they suggest the people at news international have concealed and assembled in an attempt to hide the truth about what had been done, including from this house of commons. >> does my friend agree with me that given the revelations and the differences in the intermission provided to this house, it is right and proper for mr. breck of works -- rebekah brooks and james murdoch and rupert murdoch to answer the call from the select committee on culture media and sports to give evidence to this house next tuesday? >> my friend is completely right about this.
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these are people who are key figures in the newspaper industry and the media industry in britain and they should not be above the select committee. it is absolutely right that they come before the select committee. >> was he saying these things to rupert murdoch when he was eating his canapes three weeks ago? >> let me say to the hon. gentleman, this is opportunity for this house of commons to speak with one voice on these issues and that is what we should do today. i was going to say that the issues here go to the integrity of people working at news international. the chair of this house posies select committees said he was misled. the head of the press complaints commission said she was like to buy news international.
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james murdoch has admitted serious wrongdoing in the company, and there are allegations that news international new debt phone hacking was widespread as long ago as 2007. >> on the subject of the individuals that just referred to there, one of the things that shocked many people as much as anything was that on sunday and monday, when recruiting or writer, he said his number-one priority was rebekah brooks, not the victims of 7/7, not the dead servicemen's families. rebekah brooks was his number one priority. is that not show why he has a complete responsibility to come to this house and answered questions? >> throughout this process, mr. murdoch has seemed to show no recognition of the scale of abuse of the trust of the people of this country that he claims daily in his newspaper to represent and whose voice he claims to understand. my hon. friend is totally right
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about that. >> does he share my concern about the workers who will be losing their jobs in this whole debacle? >> my friend is right, the cruel irony of the closing of the news of the world is that one person who we know was responsible in the sense that she was in charge when the phone hacking happen, was the one person who did not lose their jobs as the result of decisions that were made. it is apparent there are serious questions to be answered about alleged criminal activity perpetrated by people within news international. we do not want sky taken over by a company under such a cloud. let me briefly explain why this motion was necessary.
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the government has argued they could rely on assurances given to them by an organization about which there was mounting evidence of serious wrongdoing. last wednesday the prime minister tell me there was no alternative to the culture secretaries process, that nothing could be done. five days later, the culture secretary did change direction, and i welcome that. this decision would have ended up back on the secretary of state's desk before the end of the criminal process. it would then have to have made a decision about the bid without all the relevant factors having been considered. that was what we tabled this motion. >> the gentleman is absolutely right about the motion. he is also right to stress cross party unity is important in all of this, but will he except and
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acknowledged that perhaps he got the tone wrong today at prime minister's questions? >> the parties have to work together to address this issue. >> i take on board the gentleman said vice but i do not necessarily agree with that on this occasion. the reason we tabled this motion was because it would have ended up back on the secretary of state's desk. let me talk briefly about this. let me talk more generally about the issues we face. we want a free press. we want an independent press. we want that kind of journalism that does that profession proud and makes the rest of us think. the vast majority of journalists are decent people with a vital role to play in our public life, but the best way to protect them and protect the integrity of our
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press is to root out the kind of journalism that has left us all sick and. we all have a responsibility to get to the bottom of this scandal and ensure that someone like this can never happen again. that is why i welcome the inquiry that has been announced today and the comprehensive nature of that inquiry. we have to address all the issues that we face for the future. the relationship between the press and politicians. there is nothing wrong with politicians engaging with the media and people across all parts of this house will continue to do so. what matters is not whether these relationships exist but whether they stifled either the ability of the press to speak out against political leaders or the ability of political leaders to speak up for the public when the press does the wrong thing. i am not giving way.
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we have very little time for the debate and many members who want to speak. it is about whether these relationships are conducted in a transparent way. that is why all members of this house should be available to appear before the inquiry. and cross media ownership, the inquiry will need to think all and hard about the dangers of excessive concentration of power in too few hands. most importantly, we must protect people from the culture that allows all these events to happen. there is a difficult issue for this house. the painful truth is that all of us have been in thrall to some sections of the media, including news international. for too long, when these things happen, we just shrug our shoulders and said that is the way it is, but no longer. the events of the last seven days have open all our eyes and given us the chance to say it
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does not have to be like this. before i finish, i want to pay tribute to the people who made this possible, to back benchers across this house for their courage in speaking out. in particular, my hon. friends for their tireless and brave work on these issues. members who spoke out about bskyb and last week's emergency debate, and to the select committees and their chairs on both sides of the house. i want to pay tribute to you, mr. speaker, for the seriousness with which you have taken parliament's role on this issue. this is a victory for parliament. this house has been criticized in recent years for being timid, irrelevant, and out of touch. today, parliament has shown an ability to speak without fear or
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favor. to speak to our great traditions, to show that we cannot hold power to account and that nobody is above the law. to paraphrase the late lord dening, the you ever so high, the people are above you. this house, all members, all parties have given voice to the people and said to rupert murdoch, abandon your bid. the country wanted his voice to be heard. today, it has been. >> i call the leader of the house, sir george young. >> mac began by welcoming the tone of the gentleman's speech this evening, which i very much hope will set the tone of our debates this evening. if i may say in response to the
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interventions from the other side, i think it is entirely appropriate that the leader of the house should speak during this debate given that today represents a victory for parliament and for those whom we represent. mr. speaker, as events have overtaken the motion and as this is a short debate i propose, like the gentleman, to make a brief intervention. despite the police investigation being underway and the public inquiry announced by my right hon. friend of prime minister, soon to be up and running, we are still hearing shocking allegations by the day, the personal details of members of the royal family were handed over to the newspapers for profit, allegations that the former prime minister had his details black by another news international title and that
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victims of terrorism also had their phones tapped into a and their privacy invaded. i spoke of the nature of malpractice and the scope of newspapers and of widens, it is right that the police continue to follow the increase in the evidence wherever it takes them. it was unrealistic to expect the public and politicians to separate all this from the news corporation's proposed takeover of bskyb. that is why both the prime minister and deputy prime minister were right when they said earlier this week that news corp. should withdraw their bid. in the hon. member who is running this company right now with all its problems and the message is in would want to get their house in order first, before thinking about the next core group. that is what was in turn writer for news corp. to withdraw its bid today. the whole house will welcome the decision. i want to pick up a point that the gentleman made toward the end of his remarks.
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today has proved that those commentators who have written this place office completely wrong. my friends on this side, that have been in the forefront of a relentless campaign for the truth, and they have revealed that the house is not only able to reflect the public mood, but also be a champion for its causes. i also pay tribute to the forensic scrutiny of select committees. they have indicated the decision to make the select committees more independent of the executive. this chamber which some argue was losing its relevance and power, has been leading the public debate over the past fortnight with the standing order 24 debate, statements, and select committee hearings all being televised live. no one can say today as they did
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two years ago that parliament is irrelevant. we have learned a hard way how easy it is to lose the trust of our constituents, but the house having proved itself an effective champion of the people on this issue, it had the opportunity to restore public confidence in parliament at the same time. >> i thank the leader of the house for giving way. as this saba unfolds and becomes a greater international component, what measures will the inquiry have to ensure that the international aspects of the story can be properly investigated so that the house is seen to have teeth and be able to clean up the mess here, but be able to set a standard that is international? >> the prime focus of the inquiry should be getting things right in this country, but i have no doubt that as we make progress there will be interest
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on an international scale in the way we take this forward. given the news that broke this afternoon, it is right that the house can now focus its attention on the wider concerns that the public feel, allegations of widespread lawbreaking by parts of the press, alleged corruption on the part of the police, and years of inaction from politicians. >> it is unprecedented to have a motion sponsored by six opposition party leaders in house of commons and supported by members on the government side, too. his prime minister has said he wishes there to be across party approach to this. bearing that in mind, does he repressed the fact that discussions that took place last not excluded parties of scotland, wales, and northern ireland? >> the prime minister addressed that question in this session this afternoon. we have published draft terms of
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reference and our consulting the devolved administration's that will have an opportunity to make an impact on the terms of reference. there is a large-scale police investigation which has all the power it needs to bring those responsible to justice. >> there is no doubt the depths of the scandal have yet to be fully revealed. many people have compared it to watergate. does he except that comparison? >> it makes sense to allow the inquiry to take place before we pronounced a verdict on whether there is comparability with what happened in america, but the way we have responded was the right way to respond, rather than to indulge in this sort of cover-up that happen over the atlantic. the house is clear that justice should be done. the government is doing everything we can to make that happen. all members will remember the
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scandal over parliamentary expenses that engulfed this house two years ago, almost to this day. illegality in gross misconduct by the pew, cover-ups and lack of transparency, and the failure of self regulation was a toxic mix that led to a dramatic change in how parliament was perceived by the public the reputation of the majority tarnished by the actions of a minority. i see parallels between what happened to us and what is now happening to another important pillar of any democracy, namely a free press. while there are parallels, there are also lessons. the right approach to the current situation is to reach political agreement on the right way forward, to ensure greater transparency and to move away from self regulation to independent regulation without impeding the media's ability to fulfill its democratic role. it is not crucial that the police investigation, the
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inquiry that the prime minister launched today, and the ongoing inquiries must be allowed to get on with their crucial work. i am going to conclude. >> we have been told that there are published in terms of reference and it would be helpful if we could have access to them. we do not know where they are and have not been told what they are. >> that is a very important point but it suffers from the disadvantage of not being a point of order. >> my friend of prime minister said in his statement this afternoon that the draft terms of reference would be placed in the library. we have been fortunate to have a strong and robust police force and now they must prove themselves beyond reproach. finally, although some outside may disagree, we are fortunate to have a house of commons that is independent of government, and the fact that parliament has
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proved itself effective in resolving the issue is a tribute to the white house has addressed this matter. >> it is a bit like the old days for may, with the government on the run, the opposition in pursuit, and a headline this morning saying "brown wrong." it is like the old days, with one exception. if i had not come to the house this afternoon when i was prime minister in a debate in which the prime minister had been implicated, i hesitate to thank -- to think what these members -- [unintelligible] mr. speaker, much has already
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happened today outside this house, and the announcements by bskyb and the subsequent announcement only a few minutes ago that they are now examining whetherfor the 38% of bskyb, why alone. there have been great questions of moral concern. it has been this house that has spoken for britain, and over the past months, this house must show it can rise to the challenge. with the exceptions of peace and war, there is no matter of greater importance than the basic liberties of our citizens, and each generation has to reconcile the freedom of the individual with the freedom of the press been to balance two great rights, the rights of the public to information and the right of the individual to
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privacy. in the nearly 13 years, mr. speaker -- i will be very happy after i set out these facts. mr. speaker, after nearly 30 years, i have never sought to impose any restrictions on the freedom of the press. i have defended the press to expose any wrongdoing wherever it is bound and to speak truth to power, however uncomfortable is, and, indeed, it was for me. i will make proposals for reform and comment on what the prime minister said today. it is my judgment that we should reform but never undermine something so fundamental to our order of liberty, our trend commitments to both the freedom of the manual -- the freedom of
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the individual and the freedom of the press. to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the grieving families of the dead, for those of 7/7, for those dignified but now out -- victims of crime, and most of all perhaps, the victims of a violation of the rights of a missing in murdered child. many, many innocent men, women, and children, at the most vulnerable limit -- moment in their lives was nowhere to turn dealing with private losses, their private soros -- sorrows. bought and sold by news international for gain. against these deal was victims and against a succession of other victims of crime, whose names i know about and have seen
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and have yet to be made public, the systematic use of base and unlawful methods, hacking, breaking into computers with trojans, unpegged not the misconduct of a few roads, but i have to say, lawbreaking on an industrial scale, with the links of the british criminal underworld. that is the only way i will settle my case, and then i will answer questions. this is the only -- >> mr. stewart, i will say to you once. you are far too excitable. kong down. if you cannot, do not shake your head at me, if you cannot, leave the chamber. >> a way to describe the behavior of news international.
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it took the freedom of the press as a license and then cynically manipulated that right of freedom as their justification, and they used the defense of a free press as a banner under which they marched as do members of the criminal underworld, and it was this nexus, this criminal underworld nexus, preying on the law-abiding citizens, standing side by side with criminals against our citizens. others have said bette in the behavior, and news international descended from the gutter to the sewer. the tragedy, mr. speaker, is that they let the rats out of the sewer. when i became prime minister in 2007, with everyone else come i had no knowledge of the systematic situation at news international.
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i did what anyone would do who held office. with my own sense of a need for a renewed national purpose, i wanted to unite the country, not to divide it, to bring people on board, not to fight with them. and others in support of our nation's best interest, not to set out to make the enemy of anyone. what is often called the prime minister's honeymoon, however brief that turned out to be for me and my successor, members of the public and the press, and to try to construct an understanding for policies and purposes, and i would be surprised if i am unique in politics are hoping for the best relationships with other media, but let me finish. mr. speaker, i am about to set up something for this house.
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i hope i will be able to give way to members. in the month that i started in number 10, there were already issues involving news international. the competition commission inquiry into the recently acquired state, but their rightful ownership up to 16.8%. it was for the government to decide, and the government approach this with no bias against bskyb, but after examining in some detail their activities, the government found a case to answer and announced the strongest remedy possible, a referral to the competition authority, which went on to rule that the share purchase was not in the public interest. so far from siding with the news and to national interest, the government stood up for the public interest, and while we correctly gave them time to sell
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their shares, their shares had to be sold. next, mr. speaker, was the on resale of them exposing other programs, and the price that sent a virgin and other companies out of the market, it there was an investigation. so we did not support the news international interests. we stood up in our view for what was the public interests and a recommendation that there be fair competition. it is no secret either, mr. speaker, but the 2009 lecture, but which includes a conversation, it is what mattered in the media. under his and under mrs. brook''
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leadership, complicity. it was to force bbc online to charge for its content and to sell off the bbc commercial and activities, to open up more sporting events to bids from bskyb, to open up the cable and infrastructure market, and finally to reduce the powers of their own regulator. mr. speaker, i rejected these policies. it was clearly in news international's interest. the truth is in government records for everyone to see, and i am happy to come forward with any inquiry. there were no behind-the-scenes arrangements, no promises. i doubt if anyone in this house
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would be surprised to hear that the relationship was that all these years -- neither -- neither -- going back to the events as early as 2007, as early as the summer of 2007, i think people will see on reflection this as some of proof of an over friendly relationship is absurd. making the the murder of soldiers could hardly be the reflection of a deep relationship towards me. and a front-page portrayal of me as dr. evil, hardly confirmation of our friendship.
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so, mr. speaker, it has been said, it has been said that the relationship between news international and the government of the day changed only because in 2009, news international suddenly made a decision. i say the relationship with them was always difficult because they had an agenda. mr. speaker, i have confirmed for my own benefit the policy matters affecting the media during my time as prime minister. this also demonstrates in detail the strange coincidence in hell news international and the opposition came to share almost exactly the same things, so close, mr. speaker, that was
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almost expressed an almost exactly the same words. on the future of the license fee, a bbc online, free of charge to the maximum number, of the future of the bbc commercial, when we stood up for what we believed to be in the public interest, the opposition in variably reclassified the issue. mr. speaker, it is before the commission of inquiry to examine not just the opposition but also the many early decisions. mr. speaker, during the last year of our government, information became public of
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hacking in computers when far beyond 1 rogan newspaper. in 2010, -- in 2009, the assistant commissioner had taken this. .even the proposal, mr. speaker. having seen the committee report, i immediately asked the head of the civil service to a great -- service.
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there was an inquiry to meet growing public concern. this was contained in a memorandum to be rejecting such an inquiry. there was a media culture and deliberate obfuscation by news international. the practices were still continuing. the time has elapsed, and evidence has been destroyed. some people love already been punished, but there is no evidence of systemic failure. the decisions had been checked with the crime prosecution service, and this with the news
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of the world would deemed to be politically motivated because it was so close to the election. i think for the benefit of the future debates on this, mr. speaker, the memorandum stated about the judicial inquiry, and there was a case for a judicial inquiry but not a strong case for a non judicial inquiry it. to reopen the inquiry. >> mr. stewart. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this is bogus.
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mr. gordon brown. >> perhaps we ought to do is listen to the facts. if we do not act now on what we now know, friends around the world who admire our liberty is -- >> i am sorry to interrupt the right honorable gentleman. earlier today, it was said, a new tone, a new mood. >> order. the young lady will be quiet. there will be interventions. members will observe basic courtesies and listen quietly and with respect to speakers. that is the end of it. if you are not prepared to do so, leave the chamber.
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>> mr. speaker, i say if we do not act now as the house of commons, knowing what we now know, friends around the world who admire our liberties as a country will now ask what kind of country we have become. crime has been committed against innocent members of the public. no satisfaction is given, and even with your name as a likely victim, they will never mind telling you not taking action. no actions from the successor. the responsibility for two in greece. what is called southern investigators, the unexamined archives, exposing criminality on a huge scale.
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they have redefined this for us. to set up a judicial inquiry. the leader of the liberal party, and i did so directly. our proposal for a commission into the media. the head of the civil service, to point out, against the judicial inquiry, it has been since overtaken. but i am afraid, mr. speaker,
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there is more damage and more alarming evidence that the house must examine. because of what happened to my children, whose privacy i have a all times tried to protect, i have had this thrust upon me. a great deal of evidence which is relevant to this debate. it is right for the house to know the damage done in the last 10 years to in this alliance was avoidable and could have been avoided. in the winter 2002, the now chief executive of news international, and the seriousness of practice on the part of the newspaper, on the new investigation that this will uncover this is behind the subsequent promotion of that editors concerns. and in that context, because of
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what happened to my family, to hack into intruder, a man who is suddenly thought to be there of the news of the world. mr. speaker, a cover-up would be more damning. the decision of the news international they may now be seen. given the statements, this must now been there are people who have done no wrong and you had to make sacrifices. this can best be assured by full disclosure and reparations by
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those who know that they had done wrong, in the future of the media press, but they should immediately pressed for a new commission. this is less about protecting the press from the public and more about properly processing " them. fully independent so that they can distinguish between the abuse of power as a result of self-interest and will we really need, the pursuit of truth this is also to ensure the riding of wrongs. separately, news international, and every other responsible paper, should be obliged to publish not on pages 25 or 27, but on page one apologies to all individuals whose rights have been infringed. perhaps, in the future, this will be the name of one of the saddest victims with sarah's law.
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shading criminals inside the media, which would require news international to practice what they so self righteously practiced -- preaching to other people. our basic rights again, so we must be ready to discuss these. and i have to say to the prime minister wrote -- prime minister, to the increase, so they examine not just the general ethics of all the evidence of abuse of the technologies as a result awareness of the undermining of our civil liberties. the people of this country a always been at risk to huge concentrations of power, and traditionally, they have seen the freedom of the press as a force for their freedom, but
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today, with our country's biggest media news organization has itself become an unchallengeable concentration of power until today, held in contempt not only the basic standards. it has replaced freedom with a license. and it has regarded itself. of people should see that what should be of greatest offense against the abuse of power has itself become an intolerable abuse of power. mr. speaker, history will show that it press pass to be responsible. this is not to define the public view of the media as a whole.
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to taking to force parliament, then we will have the closure of a newspaper one week and something else the next week. >> i am extremely grateful for the right honorable gentleman for giving way, as i know many people on the side bar. whether he will tell us something. >> mr. speaker, i find it interesting that when i am giving testimony of remeron doing, that -- i think on reflection, when we talk about what has been abused as a result of the infringement of
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liberties, the conservative party would think it better to hear the evidence, because, mr. speaker, -- >> the right honorable gentleman says he was not aware of systematic abuses of power and news international. international executives in conjunction with members of the then government party in this house, conspired to smear lord ashcroft, and members opposite -- big discounts in order to try to undermine this. he knew about this then. why was nothing done?
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>> i have to say to the house that i am surprised that this debate, which started with our desire to protect the life of innocent children, should end up with the conservative party more interested in defending lord ashcroft. mr. speaker, i would have thought, i would have thought, that if the honorable member felt there were so many abuses in news international that he knew about at the time, then he would have advised the then leader of the opposition. >> i think the member for giving way. giving way. it is nice to see him in the chamber. >> listen carefully to the
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honorable member. listen carefully. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i have listened to the honorable member as he has outlined this. can i ask him, does he regret that the previous government held a slumber party for rupert murdoch and for rebekah at checkers? >> i have come to a debate on the future of the media on an issue where the prime minister of this country is set to answer questions. i have to repeat to the house. if i is prime minister come to a debate that was dealing with a problem, the then opposition would have been up in arms. >> i think the right honorable
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member for giving way. for this inquiry to succeed, the tone needs to be right. does he believe he has contributed to that? >> yes, mr. speaker, because what i have sought to do is to get the facts about the infringement of liberty, about the relationships between news international and the government, and about those instances where news international and the public interests diverge, and i think they should do exactly the same on every single one, because it is going to be a matter of concern for the whole country, not just this month but in many months to come, what are the precise relationships on the individual policy issues between the government of the day and one of the biggest corporations of the country, and, mr. speaker, i make no apologies for
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setting up the record with news international. i hope that members of the other side will ask their leaders to set this out. i will finally take one more question. >> i think the right honorable gentleman for giving way. i share the discussed at the invasion of his privacy, and i agree with him that there are serious questions to answer. nevertheless, criminality was exposed in 2003. criminality was disclosed by the commissioner in 2006. why was nothing done? >> i have said of the record for the judicial inquiry.
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it was opposed by the home office. it was not supported by the select committee of the day, but, mr. speaker, if he felt it was right in 2003 that there be an inquiry into the media, why did nobody even until last week of the conservative party do it? >> mr. speaker, -- >> i.n.s. attempted to take further intervention. i must bring my marks to conclusion. mr. speaker, and i think this is in credibly significant, because this afternoon, there will be a test to the remaining holdings of news international. this is a further useful step, but what we must now have three things, mr. speaker. a sustained and rigorous process of investigation in disclosure,
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a fairer distribution of media power in our country that will eventually restore the public's faith in a media that is a carefully and genuinely free, and as a result of what we now know, where a bus measures to ensure that the lethal combination of illegality, of collusion, and of koran, that we know went on for a whole decade, that that collusion, but cover- up, that that can never happen again. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] on tuesday -- >> on tuesday, rupert murdoch and his son are scheduled to testify before a british parliamentary committee. they will be asked about hiking by news of the world and other holdings. a former executive, rebekah brroks, -- brooks, was scheduled
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to appear, but due to rest, that is unclear. you can find more on c-span and on next, an update on the debt and deficit reduction. this is from today's "washington journal." out. ask thepenny-pinching consumer. alex is joining us live on the phone. thanks for being with us. guest: thanks for having me. host: 36 hour deadline by friday from the president came and went although we're told over the weekend. staff level negotiations have continued. what's the later? guest: well, the late zest the highest level talks between the president and the congressional leaders has simmered down. that's everythinged by the fact that the senate republican
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leader is in kentucky this weekend. the focus is really right now between president obama and the house gop leaders. that's the main impasse in the negotiations and there was no progress to report yesterday. some democratic aids on friday predicted that there might be a meeting schedule today but there's been no meeting announced yet. so it seems that highest level talks between obama and the congressional leaders and republicans in the house and senate have pretty much wound down and now the focus i think is in the senate moving the mitch mcconnell contingency plan and in the house, the focus is moving what consumers are rallying around the cup, cap and balance plan. >> that's the latest that includes be bait over a balanced
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budget amendment. who's behind this proposal and what is it calling for? guest: well this proposal has been pushed by conservatives in the house and senate by an array of conservative grass roots groups or grass types groups depending on your opinion of them. the conservative groups have pushed this cut, cap and balance bill very aggressively. there's a large coalition that have been urging lawmakers in the house and senate to sign a pledge promise together impose any increase unless this cut, cap and balance bill is passed. what it would do is cut about 111,000,000 in bending in fiscal year 2012 and impose and a cap
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on federal spending capping spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product by 2021 and require the passage of a balanced budget amendment before the debt ceiling is raised. if that's met it would raise it by 2.4 trillion dollars. consumers think this is their great opportunity to pass this but it seems very unlikely to pass in the senate. >> so walk us through what will happen this week? the house could vote on this as early as tuesday and also senator mitch mcconnell putting pressure on harry reid as well. guest: yeah. well, i think the word now is that there would be a vote on tuesday on the cut, cap and balance bill.
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and then the fight would move to the senate. mitch mcconnell is moving for both the cut on the cut cap and balance bill and the amendment and that's something he's negotiated with harry reid right now. it's tough to get two major things done in a single week but giving the looming august second and the conservatives want on both issues maybe they'll be able to game or jam that in. may want to first vote on the cut cap and balance pledge they feel will give the amendment more momentum but tough because you need 2/3 support of both chambers so in the senate you need 20 democrats. host: lots of focus on moodies and the credit rating of the
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u.s. economies and treasuries. could see action wall street if congress doesn't act on all of this. how much pressure is that putting on members of congress? host: well, the notable development last week is you had a coalition as major business groups, groups that have been long-time allies of the republican party. u.s. chamber. business roundtable. financial services round table and national services of manufacturers they sent a letter to members of congress last week urging them to put politic as side and get a deal done and that's put pressure on republicans. some of the conservatives in the house have made the argument that a default would not be such a catastrophe. some senate conservatives made that argument too that this deal does not need to get done by
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august second and the federal government can rearrange spending priorities to continue paying bondholders but the business community was clear that was not an acceptable option and the business community came out with that letter tuesday morning and tuesday afternoon. mitch mcconnell held a press-conference and rolled out the contingency fall plan and said i'm not going to allow a default to happen so there's certainly been pressure from the business community having an effect on republicans. >> so when you see the outlook station. what happens to the nation if there's no debt deal. america by default you're saying default is not going to happen? guest: well, mitch mcconnell said he will not allow default to happen but i mean, way congress works is one person doesn't have a complete say. i think it's expected to see a
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number of tea parties and may see some of that happen in the senate to. expectations is you'll have democrats making from the lot of lost votes but whether or not that'll happen you can't say for sure. given mcconnell's strong statement last week the republican would co-own a bad economy. i think that's a pretty reassuring indication that republican leaders will not allowed the default to happen on >> today, and "washington journal," jane hamsher, richard
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land discussing the role of liberal conservatives and their views on the gop 2012 provincial field, and national public radio correspondent juliue rovner, on spending reductions in medicare if program costs exceed targets by 2015. "washington journal," a lot 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. -- at 7:00 a.m. >> this is the reading room at the library of congress, specifically for research. do you know what photographs it considers the most famous? you will find that in a series in our c-span original documentaries, the library of congress, airing this monday night. we will tour the iconic jefferson building, including the great hall in the reading room. we will show where books and the
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special collection, including the original thomas jefferson library, and presidential papers, from george washington to calvin coolidge, and learn how the library is using technology to discover hidden secrets in their collection and to preserve their holdings for future generations. join us for the library of congress, 8:00 eastern. this is considered the most famous photograph here at the library of congress. >> tomorrow, and oklahoma conservative lays out his plan to cut the deficit by nine trillion dollars in the next decade. he was one of the gang of 6 working on a bipartisan deal, but he left to make his own plan. we will have that conference monday at 2:30 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span3. >> next, a look at the consumer
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protection bureau. this was her third trip to capitol hill to talk about the new agency. it is set to open its doors on thursday. this was treated as part of the dodd-frank regulation law to oversee mortgages and credit cards. this is almost three hours. >> our duty is to protect the rights, a solemn responsibility told government accountable to taxpayers, because taxpayers have a right to know what they get from their government. we will work tirelessly in partnership with citizen
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watchdogs to deliver the facts to the american people and bring general reform note to the federal bureaucracy. this is our mission. today's hearing is an important one, because the bureau is intended to bring protections to the american people in and around financial products. we are here not to micromanage every aspect. everyone has a responsibility to look in the details of that. we are here to do is to look of the oversight role as to the government organization, whether or not this agency is properly designed and prepared, whether the funding stream is appropriate and verifiable, whether it is transparent, whether or not as it is being organized the from the 2008 documents, " whether the guy is
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sufficiently clear and whether or not the american people can feel comfortable that what was envisioned in dodd-frank is, in fact, what they want. we appreciate professor warren spahn willingness to cleavers chedule -- warren's willingness. i know the american people want to know more about agency that you dedicated in some ways your whole life and certainly the last year to building up. the american people do not understand all of the history that goes into your preparation for this, and i believe today is an opportunity for us all to get a better understanding of that. additionally, the definition " of financial products protection is one that people do not understand. quite frankly, it may apply to pay loans, but that was not the basis for dodd-frank. dodd-frank was about making sure
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that we never again have a meltdown.because of certain types of credit instruments that were not safe, and sound, poorly documented, and ultimately worth less than they were intended to, but it is clear today that we will be dealing with an agency that will be far larger. the budget for next year is estimated to be larger than the two largest consumer protection agencies combined. a lot of money. additionally, the authority of this agency is extremely broad. today, we also will ask some important questions that this committee has been dedicated to along with financial- services.for some time. the federal reserve is not transparent. it considers it unreasonable interference, oversight.
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there have been limited, i repeat very limited ability to get transparency in some cases related to the financial bailout from the federal reserve. it is likely that without specific and documented transparency and legitimate oversight, fully funded and accountable to the federal reserve, it could well become haute an agency that go well intended is not well understood or transparent to congress or to the american people. these concerns and others will be voiced here today. we are delighted to have a witness, the more than anything absolutely understand the intention of her agency. often, they have used the term "cop on the beat." oddly enough, we use it here, too. today, we will ask the question
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that includes does the cop on the beat have a district attorney overseeing the cop on the beach? is there, in fact, a defense counsel available to check on the cop on the beach? is there an independent judge of the cop on the beach? there is a court of appeals, and, by the way, if i am accused by the cop on the beach, can i get an attorney paid for by the state? these and other questions are important, because we are not talking in the case of the oversight about large pig international banks. we could be talking about a small organization, formed with the purpose of one financial incentives. i have no problem with the idea that that will be looked into by your entity. i do have a question about
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whether or not that company will have their day in court and their ability not to be in financial ruin if in order to save their company, they must disagree with your determination. that in many other issues we will be concerned with. lastly, there is a concept of individual liberty. one of the concerns that i believe many members of the committee have, at what point do the american people have a right to say i want to be informed, i want to be protected, but, quite frankly, i want something which you may not want me to have. in america, unless it is incredibly dangerous to others or may cause harm to society, generally, we let people have what they want even if we do not want them to have it. we can use many examples. i will simply note quit with the
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build beverages. under dodd-frank, this will have the power to regulate of financial products and to prohibit the ones it deems unfair or abusive. today, i hope we will be able to understand what under dodd-frank is the scope intended by that language and others. i appreciated your being here, and i yield to the ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and think you for being here today. today, there's certainly a fundamental difference of opinion about what we believe is important and who we are here to serve. the difference can be distilled into one simple question. whose side are we on? on one hand, homeowners who have
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been eagerly evicted, foreclosed on a, charged inflated fees, it includes thousands of u.s. military service members and their families who lost their homes. they charged millions of dollars in legally, and were subjected to other abuses and violations of federal law. the chairman asks the question about someone having a day in court and facing financial ruin. it is not necessary to have that day in court and face necessary ruined. many of the service members are deployed overseas. their security clearances have been suspended. while they are fighting to defend our nation abroad, they are also dealing with back, . these homeowners, and their families.
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the wife of general petraeus as is now working. i, too, am on the side of service members and other home owners across the country if you have been the victims of these illegal, and i emphasize illegal, acts. in my opinion, none of those overseas in iraq or afghanistan or anywhere else should also have to fight illegal action by the people back home just to keep a roof over the home -- the heads of their loved ones. and, by the way, they have already been admitted to by the banks. to conduct a thorough, thorough,
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bipartisan investigation into these systemic abuses. initially, we had positive signs. on february 11, we adopted the committee's oversight plan, the blueprint, in designated priorities. as part of that plan, we voted unanimously to investigate, and i quote, the wrongful foreclosures and other abuses by the mortgage industry. we also looked at a bipartisan hearing in her heart wrenching testimony of disabled veterans who suffered abuses at the hands of a mortgage servicing company, including illegally eviction. the committee has done nothing. i send them myself. i asked the chairman to invite
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jpmorgan to testify about their illegal foreclosures against service members, but they declined. to refuse to provide even a single response of document, not a single syllable, i asked the chairman note, but he declined. instead of conducting a bipartisan investigation to help service members and other homeowners, this committee has not trained its eyes and sites on the professor. who is trying to protect these very same families. so they may have, in his words, their day in court, so they may not have to face financial ruin. ironically, it seems the biggest criticism of the professor is that she is being somehow too hard on these mortgage banks. professor warren has now been summoned to testify before the committee not once but twice. they have demanded that she
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produced a massive range of documents, all while the mortgage banks are given a pass. so let me with my original question, whose side are the on? the side of service members, risking their lives and their safety? or are we going to side with other homeowners and their families or on the side of the banks that are committing violations against these folks, and these are violations that they have admitted to " i hope we can come together and work with a common purpose to do what this committee has the opportunity to do best, to help millions of american families improve their lives by demanding accountability and compliance with the law. i have also said to my constituents that we have one life to live. this is no dress rehearsal, and guess what? this is that life. i do believe that the professor
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is doing her very best to make sure that every american lives the very, very best life that they can, and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> we now recognize the chairman of the subcommittee on financial services on public and private programs for his opening statement. by previous agreement, any unused time you may yield, and they will do the same. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as we sit here today, economic health -- unemployment numbers continue to be unacceptably high while businesses struggle to access credit and family struggle to simply pay their bills. with that in mind, this committee remains committed to the economic trade-offs and the proposed regulation and to find the limits of regulators in an effort to put this country back on the path of growth and prosperity. in the spirit of this process, the house oversight committee
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again welcomes professor warren, who has led the consumer protection bureau, set to launch on july 21. although it is not directly subject to congressional appropriation, i hope that our witness will be forthcoming to congress and the american public about its process, decisions it, today and for years to come. it is not a secret that the activities and formation of this group has been controversial. numerous questions regarding the scope of the activities and the mortgage settlement case and the bureau regulatory limits remain unanswered. with the inauguration next week, it is imperative that professor warren explain to this committee and to the american people the specifics regarding activities of the consumer protection agency as of today and its authority to regulate access to credit.
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we all agree that protections are needed. in fact, one of the first initiatives is nearly identical to the mortgage foreclosures simplification act that i introduced along with a democrat congressman from texas. it was a bipartisan piece of legislation, so that is a positive. with that said, with morals and regulations coming, it will not be based on bipartisan ideas and will never require a vote. that is a concern. it will be conducted by a single regulator, a single director, who will be given authority to offer the terms for access to credit for the american consumers and small businesses, with neither oversight. left outside of the window of congressional appropriations. to make matters worse, a professor warren has continued to evade questions about the types of financial products that and they would ban or restrict. this is as investors are sitting
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on the sidelines due to regulatory and economic uncertainty. there are many questions left unanswered. what will they do? what are the costs incurred by the american consumers for these regulations? there will be costs. the base of nonanswer is only contribute. i fear the actions to limit access to credit and increase its cost will only further damage to a struggling economy. the only clear thing about this in its current form is that it will have extraordinary reach over individual consumer does the decisions while having an unparalleled level of oversight and accountability by the american people. as professor warner continues to work to stand up by next week, it is the oversight committee obligation to continue to ask
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questions of the bureau to be clear about its regulatory limits and proposals to restrict access to credit. i look forward to addressing these issues and many others today with ms. warren, and i think her for returning in being here today and answering questions from members, and with that, you balance of my time back to you. >> thank you, and i will not use up your further opening statement. i would like to address the ranking members in free. as you know, there is a field hearing in baltimore. i hope that hearings held here are not some of greater than those in your own district with your mayor and governor there for this in fact fighting. the time of the committee is limited. we are trying to do things which in this case, a financial- services should lead, and if not, we certainly want to make
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sure we fill in the gap. the original, but i said we were not going to let this go. we are going to look at those abuses where we believe this committee can make a difference, and i want to reiterate, nothing has changed from february till now, and i hope the gentleman would realize that i am happy to continue working on specific opportunities. in case of the mortgage industry, in your opening statement, you did say illegal, etc.. if we already know something is illegal, if, in fact, it is already known, and prosecution or corrections are being made, then it is appropriate for this committee to say what more do we need to do, and if the answer is nothing more there compared to other areas which are not admitting or not in fact known to have done wrong,
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